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GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares extend run of record highs, dollar flexes muscle
October 3, 2017 / 12:42 PM / 2 months ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares extend run of record highs, dollar flexes muscle

* World shares at record high

* Europe, Asia, Wall Street all gain, dollar firms

* Upbeat data reinforces rate hike expectations

* Crude oil futures extend losses after overnight tumble

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2017 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

By Marc Jones

LONDON, Oct 3 (Reuters) - World shares hit their latest in a run of record highs on Tuesday, while the dollar was at it strongest in 1-1/2 months as encouraging U.S. data lifted it in tandem with global bond yields.

MSCI’s 47-country All-World index, which contains more than 2,400 firms, was pushed to its peak by a fractional move up by Europe’s main bourses and as Wall Street prepared to reopen at an all-time top.

It was the MSCI benchmark’s tenth record high since late July, extending the year’s blizzard of records to more than 40 and with no sign it is about to run out of steam.

SEB investment management’s global head of asset allocation Hans Peterson pointed to stronger economic and trade data and signs that firms in large economies were finally increasing investment spending.

“It will take over from the consumption cycle and means the (global business growth) cycle will be longer than consensus. So I think that is the mechanism that is driving equities at the moment.”

“So we are long equities, we are long emerging markets and we are long Europe. We are risk-on.”

Currency and bond markets were also flashing similar signals, especially as the ‘Trumpflation’ trade, which looked to be disappearing a few months ago, was back in force.

The dollar climbed as high as 93.920 against a broad basket of other top currencies before traders peeled away.

That was its highest level since Aug. 17 and came as a firming view that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rate for a third time this year in December kept two-year U.S. government bond yields hovering at a nine-year high.

Borrowing costs across the euro zone nudged higher too.

With the exception of Greece, southern European bonds continued to underperform as political tensions plagued Spain after Sunday’s independence vote in Catalonia was marred by police violence.

That also kept the squeeze on the euro. It dipped 0.2 percent to $1.1709 before recovering to 1.1750 as the first U.S. deals were being punched.

The euro was partially supported by large option expiries worth about $4 billion between the $1.1750 to $1.18 levels on Tuesday.

The dollar was up 0.2 percent against the yen at 113.05 yen within reach of last week’s two-month high of 113.26 yen.

HIGH ON FUMES

U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher, a day after all three main indexes hit all-time highs, with investors increasingly turning their attention to upcoming third-quarter corporate earnings.

S&P 500 companies’ Q3 earnings are expected to increase 6.2 percent year on year, according to Reuters research, after also rising a better-than-expected 12.3 percent in the second quarter.

There was plenty of movement in commodity markets too.

Crude oil futures extended losses after tumbling on Monday, as a rise in U.S. drilling and higher OPEC output put the brakes on their recent rally and rekindled concerns about oversupply.

Brent crude slipped 0.4 percent to $55.90 a barrel, after marking a third-quarter gain of about 20 percent. U.S. crude fell 0.3 percent to $50.42.

“The fourth quarter is not too kind to the price of oil, as we switch from summer demand to expectations of winter demand,” said Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance in Sydney.

Spot gold edged down 0.1 percent to $1,270.06 per ounce, plumbing its lowest since Aug. 15 as the dollar continued to strengthen.

Industrial metal zinc, used in galvanised steel and catalytic converters in cars, hit a 10-year high for a second day running as worries over production outages in China pushed up prices.

“It does sound as though the authorities in China are quite serious about this anti-pollution drive,” Capital Economics analyst Caroline Bain said.

Additional reporting by Jan Harvey in London; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and John Stonestreet

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